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Despite progress on HRD bill, attacks against activists and media persist in the Philippines

A Human Rights Defenders bill moved closer to become law in June 2019 after it was approved by the House of Representatives. Despite this, the UN says the situation of human rights continues to deteriorate. In March 2019, more charges were filed against critical news outlet Rappler while in April 2019, activist Bernardino Patigas was killed by an unknown gunman. Further, NGOs are facing scrutiny under the guise of fighting terrorism and money laundering and are taking the threats against them to the Supreme Court. Read more

Despite progress on HRD bill, attacks against activists and media persist in the Philippines

Demonstrators protest neo-nazi march

Bulgarian government funds projects to support civil society in some Balkan countries, official opposition protests government's decision to write off debt by the grand Mufti, protesters oppose neo-nazi march, while new RSF index reveals Bulgaria's new ranking on media freedom Read more

Demonstrators protest neo-nazi march

Access to social media blocked on day of anti-government protest

Internet providers blocked the access to social media platforms such as Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as a planned anti-government protest on 7th June 2019 was about to take place in Liberia's capital, Monrovia. According to digital rights CSO NetBlocks, based on network measurement data, the leading provider Lonestar also restricted Gmail and access to AP News, a news agency that reportedly published a critical article on events in the morning of 7th June, besides restrictions on the access to social media. Read more

Access to social media blocked on day of anti-government protest

Political interference and intimidation of the press in Timor-Leste

A regional CSO reported in May 2019 that there have been reports of of press intimidation and interference in Timor-Leste. In the same month, workers held a mass May Day rally in the capital Dili, demanding their rights Read more

Political interference and intimidation of the press in Timor-Leste

Migrant workers in Vanuatu protest repatriation plans fearing for their lives

Dozens of migrant workers from Bangladesh who were trafficked to Vanuatu are protesting plans to repatriate them as the fear for their lives if they return to Bangladesh. Read more

Migrant workers  in Vanuatu protest repatriation plans fearing for their lives


Two activists linked to the band “Pussy Riot” to receive asylum in Sweden

Lusine Djanyan and Alexey Knedlyakovsky, two activists linked to the Russian protest group Pussy Riot, have received asylum status in Sweden. Read more

 Two activists linked to the band “Pussy Riot” to receive asylum in Sweden

Tunisia civic space under threat by emergency bill and attempts to undermine transitional justice

A repressive state of emergency draft bill is under discussion in parliament, while the state of emergency has been continuously extended for almost four years during which emergency powers have been abused resulting in human rights violations. The new bill could grant Tunisian authorities sweeping powers to repress civic rights. Additionally, in April, the Ministry of Human Rights and Relations with Civil Society distributed confidentially a proposal to parliament that would effectively ensure impunity for past gross human rights violations, many against peaceful protesters, and grant perpetrators amnesty, an attempt that will undermine victim's rights and civil society mobilisation for justice. Read more

Tunisia civic space under threat by emergency bill and attempts to undermine transitional justice

Several protests banned, one person killed in opposition protest

Peaceful assemblies continue to be regularly banned, while restrictions - such as the imposition of itineraries and/or a heavy presence of security forces - are placed on the rare cases of protests that are authorised by local authorities. Read more

Several protests banned, one person killed in opposition protest
French

Nepal attempts to tighten its grip on journalists and social media with new bills

In recent months, journalists have continued to be investigated and threatened for their reporting. In February 2019, a new Information Technology bill was introduced that threatens freedom of opinion and expression on social media while in May 2019 the government introduced a Media Council bill that could undermine press freedom in the country. Amendments to the National Human Rights Commission Act, proposed in April 2019 could weaken its role in ensuring justice for victims of human rights violations. Read more

Nepal attempts to tighten its grip on journalists and social media with new bills